To mulch or not to mulch - that is the question

Asked August 2, 2017, 4:41 PM EDT

We live in a condo. The HOA loves mulch and we don't. It has to be done twice a year and we don't like mulch right up against trees BUT would you please send us something to say mulch should not touch trees, trees should not grow out of 'volcanoes' but straight out of the ground. Also the HOA is slowly changing lawn into patio extensions with pavers and putting mulch where grass used to be. We think grass or some other ground cover is better than pavers and mulch but don't know how to back this up if we are right. Thank you very much! We live in Columbia.

Howard County Maryland mulch

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Take a look at our web page on excessive mulch. You will find several resources, including the following fact sheet on "Mulch Problems."

http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/not_update...

The following fact sheet on groundcover alternatives to turfgrass might be helpful to you as well.
http://ag.udel.edu/udbg/sl/vegetation/Groundcovers.pdf

Pavers absorb and reflect heat, reduce water infiltration, and can create spots where you will have erosion. Mulch typically has to be replaced year after year. Plants -- whether lawn or other plants -- provide wildlife benefits, oxygen, asethetic value, and do not absorb the heat as much as pavers do. These are some factors you might want to consider.

ckc